WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Trinity Mirror Plc and MGN Ltd. v. Piranha Holdings
Case No. D2008-0004
1. The Parties
Complainants are Trinity Mirror Plc and MGN Ltd. of London, United Kingdom, represented by Lovells, France.
Respondent is Piranha Holdings of Ontario, Canada.
2. The Domain Name and Registrar
The disputed domain name <dailymirrorbingo.com> is registered with GoDaddy.com, Inc.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint (naming as Respondent Domains by Proxy, Inc.) was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the ”Center”) on January 2, 2008. On January 3, 2008, the Center transmitted by email to GoDaddy.com, Inc. a request for registrar verification in connection with the domain name at issue. On January 4, 2008, GoDaddy.com, Inc. transmitted by email to the Center its verification response disclosing registrant and contact information for the disputed domain name which differed from the named Respondent and contact information in the Complaint. In particular the Registrar indicated the Registrant as “piranha holdings”. The Center sent an email communication to Complainant on January 8, 2008 providing the registrant and contact information disclosed by the Registrar, and inviting Complainant to submit an amendment to the Complaint. Complainant filed an amendment to the Complaint on January 10, 2008 adding Piranha Holdings as Respondent. The Center verified that the Amended Complaint satisfied the formal requirements of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the ”Policy”), the Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the ”Rules”), and the WIPO Supplemental Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the ”Supplemental Rules”).
In accordance with the Rules, paragraphs 2(a) and 4(a), the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on January 11, 2008. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was January 31, 2008. The Response was filed with the Center on January 30, 2008.
The Center appointed Mark Partridge as the sole panelist in this matter on February 6, 2008. The Panel finds that it was properly constituted. The Panel has submitted the Statement of Acceptance and Declaration of Impartiality and Independence, as required by the Center to ensure compliance with the Rules, paragraph 7.
4. Factual Background
Complainants have published a daily newspaper since 1903 under the marks THE MIRROR and the DAILY MIRROR. The DAILY MIRROR is read by over 3,805,000 people each day. In connection with the newspaper, Complainants offer online bingo services.
Complainant MGN Ltd. owns United Kingdom trademark registrations for DAILY MIRROR, THE MIRROR and SUNDAY MIRROR.
Respondent has registered the disputed domain name <dailymirrorbingo.com> and the domain name <dailymirrorbingo.co.uk>, both of which redirect Internet users to Complainants’ online bingo site. The latter domain name is the subject of a separate proceeding.
5. Parties’ Contentions
Complainants contend that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to its registered trademarks, that Respondent lacks any right or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name, and that Respondent has registered and used the domain name in bad faith as demonstrated by a pattern of registering domain names based on well-known marks and using those domain names for commercial gain. Complainants request that the disputed domain name be transferred to Complainant MGN Ltd.
Respondent does not contest the allegations of the Complaint and has filed a response requesting that the disputed domain name be transferred to Complainant Trinity Mirror Plc.
6. Discussion and Findings
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The disputed domain name combines Complainant’s DAILY MIRROR mark with the common descriptive term “bingo”, an apt term to identify services provided by Complainants. The addition of an apt descriptive term to Complainants’ mark is insufficient to avoid confusing similarity in this instance. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the disputed domain is confusingly similar to a mark in which Complainants own rights.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
Complainants have made a prima facie showing that Respondent is not known by that name, does not use the name for a bona fide offering of goods or services, or is not making fair descriptive use of the name for a non-commercial purpose. Use of the disputed domain name to redirect to Complainants’ site does not create any right or legitimate interest in the domain name on the part of Respondent, and instead is most likely part of a strategy to monetize the name through eventual sale or online advertising given the nature of the business pursued by Respondent with respect to other domain names. The Panel therefore finds that Respondent lack any right or legitimate interest in the disputed domain name.
C. Registered and Used in Bad Faith
Complainants have shown that Respondent engages in a pattern of registering domain names based on the trademarks of others and then monetizes them with sponsored advertising. This conduct suggests that Respondent here registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith. The use of a proxy service to hide the identity of the Registrant is in the circumstances also consistent with bad faith registration and use, although not conclusive. Any doubt is removed by Respondent’s lack of defense for its actions and its agreement instead to transfer the disputed domain name to Complainants.
For all the foregoing reasons, in accordance with Paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the domain name <dailymirrorbingo.com> be transferred to Complainant MGN Ltd.
Dated: February 25, 2008